Backpacker

Better in Winter

f0034-01

The king is asleep.

Jasper National Park, AB

There may be no better place on the continent to experience winter than Jasper National Park. And you can tour the palace while the griz is gone. From late December to mid-March, Jasper’s 100 resident brown bears hibernate, leaving the vast lake basins and Rocky Mountain skyscrapers to the rest of the food chain. Pair a lowered guard with a mellow route that offers a chance to take in the quiet forests, snow-frosted summits, and the Milky Way from the world’s largest dark sky preserve. In the Maligne Lake zone, start with a 1-mile approach to Medicine Lake, keeping alert for bull elk and woodland caribou. From there, the 8-mile trek to Jacques Lake gains just 500 vertical feet to campsites spangled with starlight (all but guaranteed) and the shimmer of the Northern Lights, which are more common during winter. Both make a fitting light show for this ice-bound paradise.

TRAILHEAD 52.870660, -117.806103; 16 miles west of Jasper on Maligne Lake Rd.

PERMIT required; C$9.80/person per night CONTACT bit.do/maligne

f0036-01

 

• • • • •

Ice is an amazing architect.

Garden of the Gods, Illinois

Glaciers started the work on this geological playground during the last Ice Age, but the sculpting continues today. Each winter, cold temperatures decorate the swirling rock with dagger icicles, frost crystals, and an

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Backpacker

Backpacker2 min readFood & Wine
DIY Breakfast Bars
Sweet, salty, and savory—this bar hits all the right notes. Makes 9 bars 6 strips bacon2 very ripe bananas½ cup peanut butter¼ cup maple syrup½ tsp. salt2 cups rolled oats¼ cup peanuts, roughly chopped¼ cup dates, roughly chopped AT HOME Heat oven to
Backpacker1 min readScience
9 See The Rainbow.
Anyone who claims to hate all bugs has clearly never seen a butterfly, at least certainly not the American copper. This beautiful flutterer loves to hang out in “disturbed habitats,” or human-impacted wild places. Maybe it just wants to be our friend
Backpacker2 min read
Tarp Origami
This configuration is similar to the classic A-frame, but trades a narrower interior for built-in groundcover. 1. Tie a ridgeline at waist height between two trees. Drape the tarp over the ridgeline lengthwise so that two-thirds hang on one side. 2.